How TrueLayer is creating a new kind of culture

We're rethinking how we create culture at TrueLayer, and the results are a new way of working based on our values of transparency and trust.

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Bean bags and ping pong tables used to be symbolic of a fresh new corporate culture, but today the criteria that mark a company out as a great place to work have changed and we believe it starts and ends with how we value our people.TrueLayer was built on transparency. It's the idea that the more information our people have, the more included and trusted they feel, the better they can take hold of their role and really own it. Constantly rethinking how we value our people is the glue holding our growing company together, at a time when we're growing faster than ever — our global business doubled in size in the last year.Our values centre around thinking big, being open, owning your role, and being kind. How that translates into the culture we are building in our expanding Australia and New Zealand franchise starts with how we hire.

The right fit

Our hiring process is detailed because it's designed to find the person who will fit best into the role and our culture.We want our new people to feel absolutely comfortable from day one and empowered to take full ownership and accountability over their role, so we take our time — we don't hire smart people to tell them what to do, we hire smart people to tell us what they are going to do. The type of person who is the right fit for TrueLayer is one who has made an active decision, and who is investing their own time and energy, to change what the future looks like. This includes your passions outside work too — it's about showing genuine leadership on issues you care about.

Rethinking culture

The culture we're building in Australia and New Zealand is around those core values of transparency, ownership, and thinking big. The real question is, practically, how do we make this happen?We are building a high performance team in Australia and New Zealand alongside our more established offices in the UK and Europe, and the reality is that most of us have never met in person. It's been so important for us to rethink how we bring culture into a different space as a tech company and ask what we need to do to empower our people.So we created what we call our Future of Work policy, which provides the nuances necessary for a post-COVID-19 world of work that respects our people and entrusts them to do their job as they see it needs to be done. That kind of nuance encompasses several different aspects, and connection is one of the most critical. We are dedicating money not just to physical space, but to enabling people to connect: instead of requiring everyone to be on location at all times, we are asking our people to spend 12 days in the office a quarter, and each team and individual gets a budget, independent of business travel, to co-locate and connect with their colleagues across Australia. It means the product team can co-locate for a week to do a workshop, or the commercial team can meet up to run a strategy session — or just have a good time. The Future of Work also rethinks policies like leave benefits. Our parental leave policy is one example where we want to be more inclusive, as well as supportive of parents. We provide equal leave to both carers, and we've got rid of "eligibility criteria" — no matter how long you have been with us, anyone who needs to take childbirth leave will get the enhanced version of leave you are entitled to.

Communication is key

The bedrock that underpins this culture is communication. Every element of the way we communicate is designed to be transparent and tailored to bringing people in a global company together. We've aligned with the Amazon model of using narrative-style communication over needing to be present at a meeting to participate, because the latter style simply doesn't work when some people are in the UK and others are 11 hours ahead in Australia. Our method is to communicate via rich, narrative-style documents. It means people in different countries aren't excluded from the conversations and it's great as a cultural tool for onboarding: I can share four months worth of project data and they can be up to speed with all of the knowledge I've developed and written down within a week.Communication also includes the tools we use to connect our remote teams: we use Slack, the original open communication platform, and Guru which is a place where people can create guides that transform company information into knowledge so no one has to wait to ask a question — it's all right there. The new corporate culture is more than an office space; it's about nurturing and supporting people to do their job in the way they believe it should be done. And to do that, we are creating our own culture at TrueLayer Australia and New Zealand, one that puts our values of openness and ownership into practice.
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